The Official eNewsletter of TODAY! Fitness

vol. 2008 issue 8

       

 

Training for Your First 5k Run

I've really never been much of a runner.  A high school wrestling injury did a number on the cartilage of my knee.  Ok, I'll come clean... I was

never really much of a runner before that either... but I did participate in a few 5k (3.1 miles) and 10k (6.2 miles) runs.  Recently I've been asked a few questions about training for a 5k.  Participating and completing a 5k run is an excellent goal for the novice runner and great incentive to get yourself in shape, even if you haven't run before!  In researching this topic on the internet, I pulled the following verbiage from an an article that I thought was laid out very well.

RUNNING:  Training for Your First 5K Race By Pat Glover

It's the time of year when non-runners and novice runners alike are looking to compete in their first road race. Setting a goal of participating in a race several weeks in advance provides the incentive to start and follow through with a training program that will hopefully continue well beyond the event itself.

Once a goal of competing in a particular race is established, use this plan to get you there safely.

The Physical The first step in that plan should be a complete physical by a physician to clear you for embarking on your running program. It is recommended for everyone, regardless of age. Ideally, it should include a stress test to insure that you have no cardiovascular problems.

The Shoe The next step is to purchase a good pair or running shoes that provide the cushion and support necessary for the 800 to 1000 foot strikes per mile that you will be utilizing. This is your most important piece of equipment and will go a long way toward keeping you injury free. Expect to pay between $60 and $90 for a pair of brand name shoes. You may want to go shopping with a running friend or visit a store with knowledgeable salespeople who will measure your foot right up front. Be certain to take a pair of socks that you will be running in to ensure a good fit.

Try on several pairs of different brand shoes and jog around the store to see how they feel during the running motion. Fit is crucial. A good rule of "thumb" is to leave close to a thumb's width between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. There also should be very little slippage up and down in the heel counter area. Depending on the brand, running shoes have a tendency to run a half or full size smaller than street shoes.

When you get them home, it's a good idea to walk around in them for a day or so before running. This reduces the possibility of blisters and allows the shoes and your feet to "get to know each other."

The Form Running form is very much an individual thing. There are many successful runners out there who do not have "correct form," but it obviously works for them. Your body mechanics will dictate, to a great extent, your stride and form. There are, however, some general guidelines to follow. Arms should be held at approximately 90-degree angles at the elbow with hands cupped or clenched in a loose fist. A tightly clenched fist and/or high arm carriage will tighten up the upper body, resulting in inefficiency and discomfort. The upper body should be pretty much upright with as little lateral movement of the head as possible.

The Foot Strike Most runners' fall into one of two categories: heel strikers or mid-foot strikers. If you are in the first category, your heel will hit the ground initially with the foot continuing to roll forward and toeing off at the end. In the second category, the mid-foot hits first momentarily, then the heel touches down, followed by the foot rolling forward and toeing off at the end. Either foot plant is fine, and once again, whichever one feels more natural to you should be used.

The Breathing It is important to breathe deeply, which many physiologists feel helps to prevent the dreaded "side stitch." You need to get as much air into the lungs as possible. That includes using both the nose and mouth.

The Pulse Check Beginning runners are quite often unaware of how they should be feeling during their new exercise program. "Am I working too hard or not hard enough?" is a common question. One way for athletes to monitor their exercise is through the pulse check. This is normally taken at the wrist on the thumb side or at the carotid pulse just in front of the large vertical muscle felt in the neck. Since it is difficult to take your own pulse while running unless you have a heart monitor, a ten second pulse count can be taken during a walking session of the workout. Multiply this number by six to measure your exercising heart rate in beats per minute.

In terms of what that heart rate should be, some physiologists suggest that good aerobic benefits can be attained if you are exercising at between 70 and 85% of your maximal heart rate or target range. The maximal heart rate is the number of times our heart is beating at the point near exhaustion; this is most accurately determined by the aforementioned stress test by a doctor. Another way to approximate one's maximal heart rate is to take the number 220 and subtract one's age.

The Warm Up In order to get the circulation in motion gradually and prepare the body for running, a short period of gentle stretching should occur. This stretching should concentrate on the legs, lower back, and abdominal areas. It should be done slowly and held for several seconds to allow the muscles to elongate. Stretch to the point of resistance not pain. For beginning runners a brisk two to three minute walk just before the run can also be a very beneficial part of the warm up.

The Cool Down Over the years much research has indicated that the cool down is extremely important, because it helps to dissipate the lactic acid built up in the muscles during the run, which translates to less soreness the next time out. The cool down should consist of more gentle stretching and walking for several minutes.

The Door Getting out the door is sometimes the toughest part. You need to make a promise to yourself and "just do it!" Sometimes that means being a bit selfish with your time; running is a commitment to yourself. One suggestion: whenever possible, run with someone else.

The Program There are lots of running programs out there. What follows is a gradual 12-week program that can take the beginning or novice runner to his or her first 5K races. It is based upon a program called "Run for Life" that was initiated by Bob Glover (no relation) and Jack Shepherd, authors of The Runner's Handbook. It is a combination running and walking program that slowly increases the duration of the run and decreases the amount of walking. The training sessions are to be done three times a week with one or two days off in between. Those days off may be used for total rest, stretching, or cross-training such as swimming or biking. If you are cross-training in another sport and are a beginning runner, it is definitely a good idea to have at least one complete day of rest each week.

Week
Minutes Running
&
Minutes
Walking
# of Sets
1
3
 
1
5
2
4
 
1
5
3
5
 
1
5
4
7
 
1
4
5
10
 
1
3
6
15
 
1
2
7
15
 
1
2
8
18
 
1
1
 
12
 
1
1
9
22
 
1
1
 
8
 
1
1
10
25
 
1
1
 
5
 
1
1
11
30
 
1
1
12
33
 
1
1

When 30 minutes of continuous running is reached, a person running a 10-minute mile will have covered a distance of three miles. Remember, the 1-minute walking intervals listed should be used for the 10-second pulse checks to monitor heart rate and make sure you are within your target range. Feel free to vary this program according to your level of fitness; it is merely a guideline.

As you progress into the latter stages of this schedule, you may want to increase the running to every other day, which would give you one extra day of running every two weeks. A word of caution: one of the most common mistakes beginning runners make is doing too much, too soon resulting in injury and discouragement. Days off allow the body to recover from the stress of this new exercise and prepare for the next workout. Rest is very important, especially in the early stages of running.

The Race Take the day off before the race with complete rest and drink lots of fluids. Any training you do the day before is not going to help you during the race. It's already "in the bank!" It is better to go into a race well rested than over-trained and fatigued. When the race starts, go out at your regular pace. It is very easy to get "sucked out" by the crowd too quickly, and pay for it during the last mile. Concentrate on enjoying the event and finishing the race, as opposed to setting a time and being disappointed if you don't make your goal. Your goal is to have fun. When the race is over, celebrate your success in having made it!  Hopefully, this is your first step in becoming a lifetime runner!

 

Elite Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift


Summary:
Here's a good standing exercise for your hamstrings and hiney.  The romanian deadlift has been around for many years.  This single leg version will challenge your balance and stability in addition to working your hamstrings and glutes.  Variations of this exercise can be performed
with 1 hand or both hands and you can add the resistance of a medicine ball, 1 or 2 dumbbells, or a barbell if you want to make it more difficult.

 

Target:  legs and butt (hamstrings & gluteus maximus)


Count:  2 count
 

Description:  Stand on your left foot with your right foot raised behind you and your arms hanging in front of you.  Keeping a natural arch in your spine, push your hips back as you lower your hand (or both hands) and upper body.  Squeeze your glutes and press your heel into the floor to return to an upright position.  Complete your reps on one leg before repeating on the other leg.  Keep your knee slightly bent throughout the exercise.

What Sup? - Protein

For those of you that are interested in building muscle, it is likely that you have heard of the benefits that protein can provide towards this goal.  However, protein has other benefits in addition to the building and repair of muscle tissue. 

Eating as much as 35 percent of your calories as protein might prevent type 2 diabetes, obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, cardiovascular disease, bone and muscle loss, and physical degeneration accompanying aging.  In your daily diet, emphasis should be placed on high-quality proteins from animal sources such as dairy, meat, eggs, poultry and fish.  These foods contain the ideal balance of essential amino acids necessary for optimal metabolism.

Foods that are high in protein promote satiety (the feeling of fullness).  Diets that are high in protein can help you to lose weight by reducing the tendency to overeat.

Consuming protein during your workout will limit muscle protein degradation.  Protein can also work synergistically with carbohydrate to increase blood insulin levels.  Protein has been shown to extend exercise endurance and to increase protein synthesis upon cessation of exercise.

Your body can use protein to build, maintain, and repair tissue.  All things considered, you should be able to get all the protein you need from your daily diet.  However, as you progress, you will need a quick and easy means of getting sufficient quantities of protein.  The best way to do this is by drinking a high-quality whey protein shake.  Protein drinks and shakes are made so that the protein is readily digestible to be used by your body that much sooner.

When the goal is muscle growth and repair, the timing of protein consumption is just as important as the type of protein.  There is a 30-45 minute window after your workout when your body is most receptive to protein intake.  In addition, consuming a high-glycemic carbohydrate along with the protein will act as a "nutrient activator" and stimulate the protein synthesis by stimulating the insulin response.  When insulin is stimulated in the presence of protein, the result is a greater synthesis of new protein.

Whey protein has long been a staple for increasing lean muscle tissue because of its broad spectrum of essential and nonessential amino acids.  The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram (1 kg = 2.2 lbs) bodyweight per day.  Most professional weight trainers consume more than 2 grams per kg per day.  However, consuming too much protein (> 2.5g/kg) might be counterproductive.  Increasing blood amino acid levels too much might reduce cell stress and limit training gains.  In addition, excess protein that your body cannot process is stored as fat.

I've been using protein powder for several years now.  When I was originally researching what type to use, I decided to that I wanted something low in calories, fat, and cholesterol.  People typically assume that all proteins are created equal... well, that's what labels are for!  AST Sport Science makes a protein powder called VP2. VP2 has been one of the better ones that I found and it doesn't taste too bad either for a protein powder. 
 

AST VP2
24g protein
105 calories
0g cholesterol
1.5g fat

If your goal is to capitalize on your body's ability to add lean muscle mass, protein drinks or shakes are a practical way to obtain an easy, readily digestible protein boost during the period right after your workout when your body is most receptive.  However, be sure to read the labels and decide which one is worth your money... a little knowledge can go a long way.
 

Ride Like You Mean It!



 

It's that time again!  My annual pitch for riders, volunteers, and sponsors for the MS150 Bike Tour.  For the past 12 years I have participated in the National MS Society's annual ride to help raise funds for research and local programs. It's a small thing for me to do for people who face the devastating and relentless effects of MS every day. With each mile I ride, I hope to bring the National MS Society closer to a cure. 

The 2008 ride is scheduled for Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28th.  This year there are a variety of ride length options for all levels of cyclists.  You can do the new 25k ride (15.5 miles), 45 miles, 75 miles (the full route), or 150 miles (full route on Saturday and returning on Sunday).

Multiple sclerosis affects lives every moment of every year. At any time, someone with MS may suddenly be unable to stand up, hug their child or see a friend across the room.

This is my third year as a co-captain of the Bank of America team.  If you are interested in participating in the Delaware MS150 Bike to the Bay this year, you can email me at
pmazzeo@todayfitness.net or click here to join Team Bank of America

Sponsor dollars are good too!  If you are able make a charitable donation by sponsoring me for the ride, we can reach our goals that much quicker!  Every dollar contributed will help us to end the devastating effects of MS, sooner rather than later.

Thanks for your support!

Click Here to Sponsor Pete for the
2007 MS 150 Bike to the Bay

   

It's Go Time!

Is it really August already?  How's your summer going?  For me it seems like time just picks up speed as I get older.  Days become weeks, weeks become months, months become years... what was tomorrow quickly becomes last year.  If you are in tomorrow mode, you might want to rethink how important your goals are and how soon you want to attain them.

Having trouble targeting a specific goal that will motivate you?  Well, I have at least 2 nice sized ones featured in this month's newsletter!  This is the perfect time of the year for running and biking.  Whether you want to participate in a 5k, 10k, or one of many charity bike rides in your area... register early so that you mentally commit yourself to the task.  This should also serve to motivate you to prepare for the event and thereby helping you to achieve other fitness goals in the process!  If you're not up to that level of fitness yet, walking is still a great workout.  Whatever exercise you choose, just remember to consistently challenge yourself to do better, within reason.  Finally, remember to stay well hydrated in the summer, or any time of the year... in addition to safety, you will find that you will get much better performance from your body! 

For prior issues of this newsletter go to www.todayfitness.net/news.  

Good Luck!

Pete Mazzeo, CPT
pmazzeo@todayfitness.net


"
LIVESTRONG" - Lance Armstrong
 

youtube video of the month --> The Iron Grip
Here's one for my fellow grapplers. The guy talks kinda funny but the grip exercises in this video are awesome! 


P.S.  Happy 8th birthday to my daughter Rachel : )

todayfitness.net | Personal Training | News | Tips & Tools | Fitness Stuff
 

 
 

 

 
 

Get Toned!   Get Fit!   Lose Weight!   Feel Great!

 


TODAY! Fitness, LLC. , Bear, Delaware